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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / AGCO fines Hard Rock’s casino operation in Ottawa following audit

AGCO fines Hard Rock’s casino operation in Ottawa following audit

Publish Date: 07/15/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Hard Rock Casino’s operation in Ottawa is fined for a breach of its responsible gambling compliance. Rideau Carleton Casino, run by Hard Rock International’s HR Ottawa LP since 2017, has allegedly sent advertising and marketing material to people who had opted for its self-exclusion program.

The program was designed to help problem gamblers stay away from the casino for a certain amount of time. In addition, the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) also found 35 other violations, including failure to implement anti-money laundering policies and procedures.

Due to these 36 violations against the AGCO’s Standards for Gaming, the Registrar has served the casino operator with Orders of Monetary Penalty totaling CA$227,250 or approximately US$172,020. HR Ottawa LP can appeal the fines to the Licence Appeal Tribunal before August 3.

“The AGCO has the mandate and the responsibility to ensure casinos are operating with honesty, integrity, and in the public interest,” said Tom Mungham, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of AGCO. “These penalties are intended to drive the improvements needed at the Rideau Carleton Casino, and we will be carefully monitoring the casino’s activities to ensure these significant audit findings are addressed.”

Rideau Carleton Casino is open all year round, featuring more than 1,200 slot machines and a wide array of electronic table games, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and craps.

It recently acquired the city council’s approval for a sizable expansion of the casino. This expansion is planned to have the addition of an eight-story hotel, a 1,600-seat theatre, and more than 4,000 square meters of new dining facilities.

Helen MacMillan, general manager of the Rideau Carleton Casino, made a statement on Wednesday saying that the organization has been “in regular communication with the AGCO and have been working actively and definitively to address all issues”.

“The majority of issues related to the audit have been aggressively corrected, including and not limited to, change in personnel,” MacMillan said. “We will continue to improve and address any and all regulatory issues to ensure full compliance moving forward.”

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